OYT South bulletin 1st September 2023

OYT South’s weekly newsletter, including details of what has happened on the boat in the last week, plus short notice sailing vacancies for crew and sea staff and other ways you can get involved, and all the charity’s news.

OYT South bulletin 1st September 2023

by | Sep 1, 2023

 In this Bulletin
Sections which have changed since last time marked *

Staff Skipper – job advertisement
We announced a couple of weeks ago that our highly popular Staff Skipper, Diggory Rose, very sadly has to leave us at the end of this season.

Diggory says: “Having had a really enjoyable season, seeing the great works of OYT South, it is unfortunate that, for personal reasons, I will have to relinquish the helm as Staff Skipper, but I look forward to continued involvement as relief skipper and supporter. Looking forward to sailing with you all in the future.”

Sea staff and skipper gathered at Prolific's bow

We’ll be delighted to see Diggory back on board as relief skipper next season and beyond.

In due course there will be a chance to thank Diggory for all his efforts this season and for creating such a happy atmosphere on board, and you can contribute to his leaving present here. But meanwhile we need to search for the right person to build on his legacy and take the charity forward. There is a detailed job advertisement here including job description, person specification, timescales, salary and more.

As we have done in the past, we are prepared to look at two different options for finding the right person. Sometimes we have recruited an experienced and qualified skipper, able to take over following basic familiarisation and handover, while at other times we have taken on someone with immense potential but who was not ready to skipper the vessel and needed a training programme lasting up to a year (and looking to stay long enough in the role to make this worthwhile).

We have two adult voyages before the closing date – five days or a weekend in September – if someone wants to come and find out more about us before applying. We can offer funded places to genuine skipper candidates if needed.

Please share this widely: somewhere out there is a brilliant future Staff Skipper for Prolific but we need to make sure they hear about this fantastic opportunity!

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* Ocean Globe race – special events for OYT South in Ocean Village TOMORROW (Sat 2nd Sept)
Our home port of Ocean Village – thanks to OYT South’s major sponsors MDL Marinas – is currently hosting the fleet ahead of the start of the Ocean Globe race round the world – a race for “ordinary sailors on normal yachts. Racing ocean-going GRP production yachts designed before 1988, there will be no computers, no satellites, no GPS, and no high-tech materials”. There is a race village open to the public now, ahead of the race start on 10th September, with free tickets – highly recommended for any interested sailors!

But most excitingly, the race village has picked three charity partners, with Ocean Youth Trust South alongside the Blue Marine Foundation and the Maiden Factor Foundation all set to benefit from fundraising during the event.

OYT South’s dedicated charity day is TOMORROW – Saturday 2nd September – and we have a stand so please go and say hello to our team. Also this Saturday 2nd September, one of OYT South’s vice-patrons, writer and broadcaster Paul Heiney, will be giving a talk from 1pm to 1.30pm in the Events Marquee in the race village on how he sailed the Atlantic single-handed. His message is, “if I can do it, so can you. Your next big adventure starts here!” But he has promised to get in a mention for OYT South so please do come along to hear him and give him your support.

.Paul Heiney

Huge thanks to MDL for involving us in such a fantastic and exciting event!

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* Voyage news
The last newsletter a fortnight ago left a crew of individual bookings in Plymouth, having just watched the British Firework Championships. Thanks to Storm Betty they were stuck in the shelter of Plymouth for a while, and did some pilotage up and down the River Tamar and then had a barbecue in Cawsand. When the weather improved they sailed to Fowey and had an afternoon ashore, and then a big sail all the way to Dartmouth.

Crew member concentrating at the helm, supervised by a watch;leader, while in the foreground a girl sitting on a life-raft points something out to a boy holding a hand-bearing compass Boy in glasses walks up Prolific's foredeck on a sunny day with both arms in the air Crew member gives a thumbs-up from studying the chart, while another crew member looks at their pilotage notes Watchleader supervises crew member at Prolific's helm

That was followed by a 4am start on the last day for the final passage back to Brixham. You can see the full voyage track here.

They covered 141 nautical miles and twelve people earned RYA Competent Crew certificates (the other three already had it). Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Brigid Stoney, Lucinda Neall, Martyn Powe, Julian Ware, Anna Owen – and special congratulations to Caitlin Neall-Johnston who completed her bosun assessment.

Feedback included:

“My favourite part was getting up early this morning, watching the sunrise and the dolphins.”

“My favourite part has been spending time with my crew and spending time with the staff members on board.”

“My favourite bit was probably steering in the river although it was quite stressful but I liked it”.

That was followed by a voyage with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, including young people who had a variety of physical needs. A week on board Prolific can be more demanding than a typical EMCT voyage, with more time at sea and requiring a stronger sense of self belief and independence from the crew – who rose to the challenge admirably.

They started in Brixham and had a straightforward crossing of Lyme Bay to Portland, with dolphins on the way. They had time ashore and showers, and next day some day-sailing which brought them into Weymouth for beach and ice-cream. Then they headed for the Solent and picked up the buoy outside Yarmouth (thanks to Johnny Caulcutt) for a great view of the Cowes-Torquay powerboat race. Finally they headed back to Poole where the voyage ended on Monday after 153 nautical miles. You can see the full voyage track here. Ten people earned RYA Start Yachting certificates.

View from astern of Prolific sailing downwind under mizzen and staysail against blue sky and blue-green sea View upwards of Prolific's main mast without sails against a cloud-dappled sky Prolific's foredeck with furled staysail and jib and a fantastic pattern of clouds arranged in ridged feathery lines

Big thanks to sea staff Diggory, Brigid Stoney, Glyn Collins, Anna Owen, Graeme Cole and Roisin Smith. Anna has started work on her 2M assessment and Rois continued progress towards 3M. Overall, it was such a positive experience for the sea staff to see the tenacity and courage of the young people and to watch them grow as a team and as individuals.

Feedback included:

“My most lasting memory was just being able to sail on the Prolific and the enjoyment I have had”.

“The funniest bit was when it was really choppy coming out of Weymouth and everyone was trying to stand up but was nearly falling over or sliding off the deck boxes and just trying to stay upright.”

“The best bit, there was actually a few, there’s being able to sail on the Prolific but also getting to shout at everyone while pulling a rope – no one told me it was going to be that fun.”

One of the adult leaders added: “My best bit was being able to sail on a very different boat and getting to learn all about it: we had some great sailing passages. Funniest bit was washing up procedure last night when I was in goal for the cutlery that was getting thrown at greater and greater speed and cups and managing to catch them all – it was good fun. Great trip and a well-run boat, thanks for everything.”

You can see more voyage feedback here.

A new crew of individuals joined us this Tuesday in Poole and have quickly bonded as an enthusiastic and effective team. They went and looked at an anchorage in Swanage on the first night but chose Studland instead, which was beautiful. On Wednesday they had an invigorating beat to Weymouth and yesterday were faced with a forecast which looked OK but nothing like the reality – strong winds from a completely different direction! So they did some training towards their RYA certificates and some baking, and MOB recovery drills on the way to Portland where they had a movie night and some rowing practice. Today they are thinking of taking Prolific for a view of the Bournemouth Air Festival.

Watchleader supervises boy at the helm - both in red oilskin jackets - with white cliffs behind Four young people in red jackets in Prolific's dinghy, one rowing

Diggory says the young people are brilliantly engaged and are running lots of things for themselves. But big thanks anyway to the sea staff: Diggory, Adam Lane, Lauren, Iori Kent, Susanna Paynter, Frederik Ferner, Aoife Harrington and Richard White.

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2023 adult voyages – last few spaces!

Just a few berths on adult voyages this year (18+, no upper limit)

11-15 Sept 2023, Southampton, 4 nights, age range 18+, £475 per person, adult week (Monday to Friday), 4 places left.

22-24 Sept 2023, Southampton, 2 nights, age range 18+, £245 per person, adult weekend voyage (Friday evening to Sunday evening), 3-6 places left depending on whether provisional enquiries are confirmed.

These are open to anyone aged 18+ and we welcome anyone who just wants to come and sail our beautiful boat. But if you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the charity, you can also aim to use the voyage to earn a recommendation for volunteer training and voyages next year. Places are also open to current volunteers looking for some extra training on a voyage where they can focus on their own skills without the responsibility of supervising young people at the same time.

Email webmaster1@oytsouth.org to reserve a place on an adult voyage.

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* AGM and curry night 4th November – a date for your diary
OYT South’s AGM will be held on Saturday 4th November in Southampton, followed by a curry in the Coriander Lounge (not the same restaurant as last year). We will aim to combine this with a refit weekend as we’ll need lots of help moving gear off the boat. More details to follow but please put the date in your diary for now!

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Prolific earrings inspired by a crew member – available to buy!
More than a year ago we were approached at MDL’s South Coast Boat Show by someone with an interesting idea. He makes earrings based on drawings by children and young people all over the world: would we like to see if a crew member on board Prolific could do a drawing that would inspire earrings whose sale would help to fund other young people to sail with us?

This seemed like an exciting prospect – and now, thanks to Alex Angel-Benscher and Vurchoo, the earrings exist and you can buy them!

The first stage was to ask crew members to submit their drawings, and this happened on last year’s voyage with Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, for brothers and sisters of children with life-limiting conditions.

The winning drawing came from Joey, whose combination of a boat and an eye made us think of all the new things that young crew members see and experience from the deck of Prolific.

Joey's drawing

Shooting Star Children’s Hospice has supported Joey’s younger brother Nathan and the family over the last 10 years and Joey said: “The voyage meant a lot to me as I met a lot of young people like me who have siblings with life-limiting conditions like Nathan. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this world. Being a part of the crew and being on the voyage allowed me to experience being out of my comfort zone and becoming comfortable with that. I made friends who know what it’s like to be like me, and that’s so important.”

Shooting Star siblings voyage 2022

Alex loved Joey’s drawing and used it as the inspiration for an earring shaped like the hull and mast of a boat with a Blue Chalcedony stone representing the eye. Having tested it at trade fairs this summer, it is now part of Alex’s Studs of Hope collection, available in quite a number of shops and also for sale online for £40 – and don’t forget, a share of the profit comes back to OYT South! Buying a pair of earrings for yourself or someone else can rarely have been so meaningful. We hope you like them and will want to buy them! Click the links or pictures to see how to buy them.

Blue Chalcedony Gold Stud:

Gold earrings

Blue Chalcedony Silver Stud:

Silver earrings

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Annual report – a chance for everyone who supports us to reflect on a remarkable year
Ocean Youth Trust South’s annual report and accounts for the last financial year are now available.

The report has plenty of facts and figures but also stories, quotes and pictures. If you sail with us, volunteer for us, support us or work for us in any capacity, do have a look at what a fantastic difference your contribution helps to make for young people.

Thank you to everyone involved in another outstanding year!

Cover of Annual Report showing a girl on the helm supervised by the First Mate

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Winter refit core team needed
We haven’t yet finalised plans for Prolific’s winter refit 2023-24, but if you are planning a gap year, or you are between jobs or for any other reason potentially available for several weeks or months this winter, might you be interested in joining our full-time refit team? We may well need a couple of full-time volunteers between November and March. More details here. Plenty of our previous refit volunteers have gone on to great jobs in the marine industry – it really helps to have maintenance experience as well as good sailing skills when applying for sailing jobs! And any refit volunteers who want to sail in Prolific can be offered berths as watchleaders, bosuns, or relief engineers. So it’s a great way of developing useful experience, contributing to a good cause, securing free food and accommodation for a few months, and having a positive experience with a fun group of people! If you’re interested, please read the web page and email us with the details requested at the bottom of the page.

If you are new to OYT South and wondering whether you would enjoy being a refit volunteer, why not book on a September adult voyage, to see the boat and meet some of the team?

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Vessel tracking – see where Prolific is sailing!
Don’t forget you can always have a look and see where Prolific is sailing.

If you discover that Prolific is in a harbour somewhere near you, please come and say hello. Sometimes you may be just what we need if you have local information or a bit of time to spare to help with something, or a car for running a quick errand!

Big thanks to the Graham High Charity who sponsor our vessel tracking.

Screengrab from vessel tracking page, showing Prolific in Portland

There are also apps like Marine Traffic that you can use to track Prolific on your phone.

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2024 draft programme
We now have a DRAFT sailing programme for 2024 and we have sent it round to our regular clients! If anyone else is interested in a full-boat group booking for next year, please contact caroline.white@oytsouth.org. At this stage it may be possible to amend the programme slightly to meet clients’ needs, though that depends on any impact your preferred changes would have on the groups sailing either side of you.

Once we have a final version of the programme, we will designate some voyages for individual rather than group bookings, so there’s no rush to enquire about those just yet!

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Maintenance days – please come and help!
Please come to one of our in-season maintenance days! We can use both skilled and unskilled volunteers, and it all helps to keep the boat in good condition and to try and avoid losing any time on voyages to maintenance issues.

Monday 4th September – Gosport
Sunday 15th October – Southampton

Just call the boat on 07990 518915 or email refit@oytsouth.org if you want to come and help.

Please note that the maintenance day on 4th Sept was previously advertised as Southampton but it will now be at Victoria Quay, Gosport, close to our office in Royal Clarence.

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* Movement for Good Awards – please nominate us to win £1,000 – deadline for nomination 6th September

In September, 150 charities will each win £1,000, based on nominations from the public, through Movement for Good – please nominate us! If you follow that link and scroll down the page, you’ll come to a form already set to vote for us – you just have to add a few details and press the button at the bottom. It takes seconds!

We have been lucky enough to win a few times in the past but not recently, so PLEASE send in your nomination this time. £1,000 could provide voyages for two disadvantaged young people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to sail; or it could buy food for everyone on board for days, or a piece of equipment for the boat.

Movement for Good logo

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* Financial appeal
Big thanks this week to Peter Binning and Hilary Croft for generous donations!

We need a regular flow of funds to cover at least three major areas: bursaries for young people who could not otherwise afford to sail; vessel maintenance and equipment; and staff salaries – please help, or pass on our details to anyone you come across who might make a grant, large or small.

See here for how to make a donation – you can contribute by cheque, phone or PayPal, but please do something if you possibly can. Don’t forget that if you complete and return a Gift Aid form we can claim back tax on your donation.

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Raise funds for OYT South if you’re shopping online
we’ve made over £1,500 through Easyfundraising!
“What a fool I was!” says Mark Todd.

“For ages I’ve seen in the bulletin that Easyfundraising is a good way to raise money for charity, but I never got round to doing anything about it, and when Caz told me how easy it was, I didn’t listen.

I thought it might be a hassle, or that I’d have to remember to do something when I bought stuff online, or that it probably wasn’t really worthwhile.

This week I finally got round to it and it turns out it’s a REALLY EASY way to raise money for the charity I care about … and I definitely should have done it sooner.

It takes a minute or two to sign up; you can do it on a desktop, tablet and/or phone, and you can install a widget that flags up when a donation is available. Once that’s done, imagine you’re looking to buy – say – a rainbow unicorn: just put “rainbow unicorn” in your usual search box, and the list of results shows you which sites come with donations, and how much. It’s up to you what to pick and whether to accept the donation from the site, but a huge choice of sites will offer a donation – and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner … but if there’s anyone else who has been like me and just not got round to it, PLEASE click the link now and sign up!”

We have already raised over £1,500 through Easyfundraising – huge thanks to everyone who has used it!

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OYT South social media – please share as well as liking!
If you look at the top left of any page on our website, you can click on icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. We are also on TikTok. Please share our social media posts as widely as you can – with the help of all our supporters, this charity is doing some amazing work and we need more people to hear about it. You don’t need to do anything more than share a post, or perhaps add a comment which could be as simple as “I’ve sailed with this charity!” or “I volunteer for this charity!”.

Please note that OYT South has a policy that our adult staff and volunteers should not make or accept personal online connections with crew members aged under 18, or vulnerable adults. Crew members can use the sites to stay in touch with the boat and with each other, but not with individual staff and volunteers.

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Branded clothing
OYT South branded clothing available – please see here. You can buy hoodies (in a wide range of colours), fleeces, short- and long-sleeved t-shirts, baseball caps, beanie hats, polo shirts and more, all with OYT South’s logo!

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New readers’ welcome and introduction
If you have recently registered your interest in OYT South, welcome to our newsletter, which is sent out almost every week, normally on a Friday, and is also copied onto the website.

If you have just started receiving this newsletter by email, it is because we believe you have signed up and consented to receive it – perhaps by emailing us to ask for it, completing a form on our website, or adding your email address to the book on board where people can sign up to receive news, as well as leaving comments. If this was a mistake or you simply decide you want to stop receiving the newsletter, just press “reply” to the email and write UNSUBSCRIBE at the top, or email webmaster1@oytsouth.org asking to unsubscribe.

Each week the newsletter includes a wide range of news from the boat and from the charity, including details of voyages available for young people; adult voyages; opportunities for adult volunteers both ashore and afloat, and much more. We find that while some people read the bulletin almost every week, many others dip in and out, and read it when it’s convenient – which is why some items are repeated. New items are marked with an asterisk * so that if you did read it last week, you can see which sections you can safely skip.

Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities – nothing here is restricted to long-standing members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!

If you need an introduction to the work of OYT South, you should find a lot of useful information on our website. But essentially, we are a registered charity (no. 1079959) which exists to offer adventure under sail as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 11-25, from the widest possible range of backgrounds. A high proportion of our young crew members are disadvantaged or deserving in some way: many of these sail in groups organised by other charities, youth clubs, special schools and so on, and will fill the bulk of our term-time voyages. But those from more fortunate backgrounds are also welcome to sail, either in groups or by coming as individuals on a mixed voyage. Every year we run a variety of shorter local voyages plus longer adventure trips – sometimes including Tall Ships races during the summer holidays. If you are aged 11-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here – and this section is also useful for adults who are thinking of organising a voyage for a young person. Adults planning to organise a full group voyage should also see here. Adults who want to sail themselves should see here.

We have a professional staff skipper, mate and engineer, but our watch leaders are normally all volunteers, who combine sailing skills with an interest in working with young people. You can find more information here – how the system works, how to join, and profiles of existing staff and volunteers.

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please see here. To help with the vessel’s annual refit, see here.

It is a very expensive business maintaining a boat, running an office and employing staff. If you want to help us, please become a member of OYT South. Or see here for information on making a donation.

If you have any questions, please do email – or contact the office.

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Receiving this newsletter by email
Many thanks to all those who have given consent to receiving this newsletter by email. If you are not currently getting it by email and would like to, please just click here Newsletter Subscribe and press “send”, or email webmaster1@oytsouth.org.

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